Postcard from Guanajuato, Mexico: From corn fritters to affogato

Kicking this food post off with our favorite way to end a meal in Guanajuato: an affogato from Estacion Gelato. Particularly when cardamom gelato is among the offerings to serve as the base for the pour of espresso.

Most craved dish is the corn and jalapeno fritter appetizer at Los Campos Cantina y Restaurante. In fact, Los Campos proved our all-around favorite restaurant during our fall visit.

We were also taken by the addition of a new sister spot, Metate Tacos – Mezcal – Vino. The best guacamole ever, spicy fried chickpeas, a delightful stuffed guero chile and falling-off-the-bone-tender pork shank for making tacos to share at the table. The owners were tinkering with the menu though, and the last time we tried to go none of those were available. The online menu appears as though the chef settled on keeping most of the dishes we loved. If you go, let us know.

Enjoyed new menu items at the upscale Mestizo. Pulpo carpaccio was sweet and tender, and the tuna “carnitas” tacos were a nice change.

In the Presa neighborhood, Amatxi appeared particularly popular with chilangos, but we found the laidback front porch of nearby La Victoriana a more suitable fit for us.

While restaurants encircle the intimate, shady and mariachi-filled Jardin de la Union, we have always shunned eating there. Kind of more of a beer-sipping people-watching spot. We decided to end our snobbery and try the always-bustling Casa Valadez. We found nothing wrong with the food and extremely professional service; all fine if you want to pay higher prices than needed and be assured of eating with all tourists.

We countered that by going into the hole-in-the-wall seafood spot tucked away behind Iglesia de San Diego – La Vela Marisqueria. As tiny and casual as a shack on the beach, La Vela has great fresh ceviche and tacos.

And El Santurrona Gastropub is a perfect spot for people-watching away from the jardin. The fried chicken sandwich is not a bad choice at all.

And then, for a total change in flavor, the fresh food at Delica Mitsu, Campenero location, is great, and you find yourself surrounded by a sea of young Asian college students who agree.

We also enjoy the funky Escarola with its fresh falafel burger. But we must confess that part of its appeal is its convenient location near our favorite after-lunch spot – Estacion de Gelato.

Postcard from Guanajuato, Mexico: Meals for when you’re staying longer than a few days

Having already raved about our four favorite restaurants in the historic center of Guanajuato, thought we would share some other photos of meals for you to ponder if you are staying more than a few days. As we set up headquarters there for a month, we sampled a number of places.

When we wanted a fresh and light change of pace, we headed to the new location of Delica Mitsu on Del Tecolote. The bowls were ample and good, but the Japanese bento-style assortment beckoned us several times. We’d each go to the glass case and point to the five things we wanted plated for our lunch. No alcoholic beverages are available, but loved being able to get an intensely flavored iced jamaica (hibiscus) tea without sugar.

Another unexpected spot was Habibti Felafel. The interior was welcoming, but we ordered falafel to-go, the best falafel we have ever tasted, to eat wrapped in lettuce on our rooftop patio. Centro Bharati on Plaza Baratillo was the place I finally found a rustic loaf of multigrain bread to my liking. On weekends, a chef offers a pop-up to-go fresh paella stand in a doorway on Calle del Truco. Hard to beat the price by the kilo.

Any bar on the Jardin de la Union offers great people-watching, but you are mainly watching tourists and vendors trying to hawk things to you and other tourists while listening to the same mariachi songs over and over. It’s a festive atmosphere best enjoyed in small doses. Heading down the street, La Santurrona Gastropub has only a few outside tables adjacent to the Church of San Francisco. If you are lucky enough to snag one, you can escape the vendors and watch a continual parade of locals out for afternoon or evening strolls. The fries are tasty, and my sandwich overflowed with grilled vegetables.

Having developed a little gelato habit in Italy this summer, we dropped by Estacion Gelato to satisfy our cravings. The Mister was partial to the affogata (sort of an espresso float) with a scoop of canela gelato.

Am throwing in a few other photos from places worth trying, but where we had a dish or two that talked us out of enthusiastically recommending them.